Dabeli has that genius blend of softness and crunch. A dabeli is made of buttered pao, grilled on a tawa, split open & stuffed; each vendor insinuates his own special flavours into the dish. Apparently, dabeli was invented by one Keshavji Gabha Chudasma in one of the port towns of Kutch. The name Dabeli comes from the act of pressing a filling made with spiced mashed potatoes with simple ingredients. It has its origin in the Gujarati language. So it is essentially a snack where a potato filling is pressed into a pav or a bun. 

Dabeli is believed to have been invented in the 1960s by Keshavji Gabha Chudasma in Mandvi in Kutch district of Gujarat. It is the most popular fast food from Gujarat and Gujarati people love to have Kutchi Dabeli during the whole days, it is a very simple but very unique and interesting recipe made from Aloo or Potato Masala Mixture and Bun Rolls or Pav which is also used in Vada Pav, Pav Bhaji, Misal Pav, Usal Pav, etc.

Dabeli

One of the very basic recipes of a dabeli masala calls for Whole Spices – To make this Dabeli Masala at home, you will need an array of spices that are roasted until aromatic and then ground to make a powder. These spices include coriander seeds, cumin seeds, sesame seeds, fennel seeds, cloves, black peppercorns, cinnamon, star anise, dry red chilies, and bay leaves.

While some foodies also try finding out the difference between a dabeli and a vada pav, Dabeli or Dabeli is the Gujarati cousin of Mumbai's vada pav, unlike vada-pav, dabeli is sweet and spicy and crunchy which makes it my personal favourite between the two at times for a change. The pomegranate pearls, chutneys, onions and peanuts all come together to add flavour and a unique texture to the potato mix. Today this concept of dabeli has gained its popularity the world over and has been well accepted by fans, foodies and followers.

Quote by Chef Kaviraj

Here are Three easy to make Dabeli Recipes for that perfect Snack Bite:

Dildaar Dabeli

dildaar dabeli

Ingredients

For the fresh mix of dabeli spice

  • Coriander seeds- 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds-1 tsp
  • Fennel seeds- ½ tsp
  • Black pepper powder-1/2 tsp
  • Cinnamon stick- ½ inch piece
  • Black cardamom-1 piece
  • Cloves- 2-3 no.
  • Star anise-1 no
  • Bay leaf-1 no
  • White sesame seeds- 1 tsp
  • Dry coconut- 2 tbsp.
  • Red chili- 2-3 no
  • Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
  • Amchur powder-1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar-1 tsp

For the potato mixture

  • Potatoes- 3 medium sized, peeled, mashed
  • Tamarind chutney- 2-3 tsp
  • Water-1/4 cup
  • Oil-2 tbsp.
  • Salt to taste
  • Coconut- 2 tbsp grated
  • Coriander leaves- 2 tbsp chopped
  • Roasted/fried peanuts-2-3 tbsp.
  • Nylon sev- ¼ cup
  • Fresh pomegranate seeds-1/4 cup
  • For serving the dabeli:
  • Pav- 5-6 pieces
  • Butter-2-3 tbsp.
  • Green mint-coriander chutney- 2-3 tbsp.
  • Tamarind chutney-2-3 tbsp.
  • Small onions chopped - 2

Method

  1. Prepare all the ingredients for the dabeli recipe.
  2. Start with the dry roasting of the spices for a few mins as listed under dabeli masala and cool completely.
  3. Make a dry powder mix of the same and keep in an airtight container and use the dabeli masala as needed.
  4. Now to prepare the potato mixture, heat oil/ghee in a kadai, and add in the prepared dabeli masala mix- blend it with ¼ cup water and tamarind chutney and allow it to cook for 30 seconds, add in the boiled mashed potatoes and mix well.
  5. Remove the prepared potato mixture into a plate. Allow to cool, top it up with the other ingredients like coconut, coriander, pomegranate and sev.
  6. Now comes the assembling part of the dabeli. Slit open the pao, apply little butter/chutney, and tamarind chutney, place the cooked and cooled potato mixture in the center. Press it down well and add in some onions, heat up a tava, grease it well and cook the dabeli on both sides to a nice light crusty color, remove and coat the sides with nylon sev and serve hot as a snack.

Teekhi Meethi Dabeli

 teekhi meethi dabeli

Ingredients

For the fresh mix of Dabeli spice

  • Coriander seeds- 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds-1 tsp
  • Fennel seeds- ½ tsp
  • Black pepper powder-1/2 tsp
  • Cinnamon stick- ½ inch piece
  • Black cardamom-1 piece
  • Cloves- 2-3 no.
  • Star anise-1 no
  • Bay leaf-1 no
  • White sesame seeds- 1 tsp
  • Dry coconut- 2 tbsp.
  • Red chili- 2-3 no
  • Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
  • Amchur powder-1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar-1 tsp

For the spicy- sweet stuffing mixture

  • Potatoes- 3 medium sized, peeled, mashed
  • Schezwan chutney-2-3 tsp.
  • Fried Manchurian balls- 10-12 no
  • Water-1/4 cup
  • Sweet- n- sour jaggery imli chutney-2-3 tsp
  • Oil-2 tbsp.
  • Salt to taste
  • Coconut- 2 tbsp. grated
  • Coriander leaves- 2 tbsp, chopped
  • Roasted/fried peanuts-2-3 tbsp.
  • Nylon sev- ¼ cup
  • Fresh pomegranate seeds-1/4 cup
  • For serving the dabeli:
  • Pav- 5-6 pieces
  • Butter-2-3 tbsp.
  • Green mint-coriander chutney- 2-3 tbsp.
  • Tamarind chutney-2-3 tbsp.
  • Onions-2 small, chopped

Method

  1. Prepare all the ingredients for the dabeli recipe.
  2. Start with the dry roasting of the spices for a few mins as listed under dabeli masala and cool completely.
  3. Make a dry powder mix of the same and keep in an airtight container and use the dabeli masala as needed.
  4. Now to prepare the potato mixture, heat oil/ghee in a kadai, and add in the prepared dabeli masala mix- blend it with ¼ cup water and tamarind chutney & little schezwan chutney and allow it to cook for 30 seconds, add in the boiled mashed potatoes and fried Manchurian balls and mix well.
  5. Remove the prepared potato and Manchurian ball mixture into a plate. Allow to cool, top it up with the other ingredients like coconut, coriander, pomegranate and sev.
  6. Now comes the assembling part of the dabeli. Slit open the pao, apply little butter/chutney, and tamarind chutney/ schezwan chutney, place the cooked and cooled potato mixture in the center and add in some onions. Press it down well and heat up a tava, grease it well and cook the dabeli on both sides to a nice light crusty color, remove and coat the sides with nylon sev and serve hot as a snack.

Dilkhush Dabeli

 dilkhush dabeli

Ingredients

For the fresh mix of Dabeli spice

  • Coriander seeds- 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds-1 tsp
  • Fennel seeds- ½ tsp
  • Black pepper powder-1/2 tsp
  • Cinnamon stick- ½ inch piece
  • Black cardamom-1 piece
  • Cloves- 2-3 no.
  • Star anise-1 no
  • Bay leaf-1 no
  • White sesame seeds- 1 tsp
  • Dry coconut- 2 tbsp.
  • Red chili- 2-3 no
  • Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
  • Amchur powder-1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar-1 tsp

For the spicy- sweet stuffing mixture

  • Potatoes- 3 medium sized, peeled, mashed
  • Peanut butter-2-3 tsp blended with 3-4 tbsp. water.
  • Grated carrots-1/4 cup
  • Boiled green peas-1/4 cup
  • Tomato ketchup-2-3 tsp
  • Water-1/4 cup
  • Sweet- n- sour jaggery imli chutney-2-3 tsp
  • Oil-2 tbsp.
  • Salt to taste
  • Coconut- 2 tbsp. grated
  • Coriander leaves- 2 tbsp. chopped
  • Roasted/fried peanuts-2-3 tbsp.
  • Nylon sev- ¼ cup
  • Fresh pomegranate seeds-1/4 cup
  • For serving the dabeli:
  • Pav- 5-6 pieces
  • Butter-2-3 tbsp.
  • Green mint-coriander chutney- 2-3 tbsp.
  • Tamarind chutney-2-3 tbsp.
  • Onions-2 small, chopped
  • Cheese- ¼ cup grated

Method

  1. Prepare all the ingredients for the dabeli recipe.
  2. Start with the dry roasting of the spices for a few mins as listed under dabeli masala and cool completely.
  3. Make a dry powder mix of the same and keep in an airtight container and use the dabeli masala as needed.
  4. Now to prepare the potato mixture, heat oil/ghee in a kadai, and add in the peas, carrots and any other veggie of your choice as well like cut and blanched french beans, or some fresh sprouts, add in the prepared dabeli masala mix- blend it with ¼ cup water and tamarind chutney & little schezwan chutney and allow it to cook for 30 seconds, add in the boiled mashed potatoes and mix well.
  5. Remove the prepared potato mixture into a plate. Allow to cool, top it up with the other ingredients like coconut, coriander, pomegranate and sev.
  6. Now comes the assembling part of the dabeli. Slit open the pao, apply little butter/chutney, and tamarind chutney/ schezwan chutney, place the cooked and cooled potato mixture in the center. Press it down well and add in some onions, grated cheese, heat up a tava, grease it well and cook the dabeli on both sides to a nice light crusty color, remove and coat the sides with nylon sev and serve hot as a snack. 
 
Celebrity Chef Kaviraj Khialani has a varied experience with hotels and airlines. He is also a consultant, food designer and food stylist. For more recipes by Chef Kaviraj; stay tuned to HerZindagi.